Government and Business

The Role of Industry/Trade Associations

Businesses have a multitude of organizations and associations at their disposal to help with networking, awareness, and marketing. In this lesson, you’ll learn more about the chamber of commerce and industry and trade association.

Know Your Role

If you own a business, you know there are many organizations that can help advance your ideas, extend your network, and help promote your products and services. Understanding the organizations will save you valuable time and energy.

Let’s pretend you’re own a small store in a Street in your hometown. You’re looking to find other like-minded business owners and figure out the best ways to reach new audiences. Do you want to look at a chamber of commerce or a trade association? How about both?

In this lesson, you’ll learn more about these two important business organizations and their role and function for business owners.

What is a Chamber of Commerce?
  • The first thing to remember about a chamber of commerceis that it’s local: focused on a local community and focused on local businesses.
  • Overall, a chamber is an association of business leaders that allows mutual promotion and protection of the interests of their businesses, whether that be a small restaurant or a used bookstore.
  • These are frequently seen in individual towns and communities, but there are also state and national chapters that can be accessed.
  • A good chamber of commerce helps businesses band together and come up with ways to better market their products and services.
  • They form a collective to address important concerns and issues for the business community.

As a business, joining a chamber of commerce can be a good choice for several reasons:

  • Increased exposure
  • Networking opportunities
  • Better understanding of business community concerns
  • More credibility
  • Increased marketing potential
  • Stronger voice in local decision-making
 What is an Industry and Trade Association?
  • More specific than a chamber of commerce, industry and trade associations narrow the focus from all businesses to specific ones. For example, you may find yourself part of an industry association specifically geared toward owners of beauty supply stores or auto parts manufacturers.
  • A trade association, or trade group, is put together by businesses operating in specific industry areas. Like a chamber of commerce, these associations provide a place for business leaders to advertise, educate, market, and lobby the government; they provide a collaborative environment for like-minded professionals.
  • Some associations put a stronger focus on conferences, trade shows, networking events, and fundraisers, as well as continuing education opportunities for its membership.

Other benefits of joining an industry or trade association include:

  • Access to specific knowledge about your industry
  • Building an industry-specific network
  • Increasing your reputation in your industry
  • Gaining access to trade group discounts in purchasing you a stud

 Definition of Trade Associations

 A trade association is a voluntary organization of independent business units in the same branch of industry, which conducts co-operatively activities aimed at improving the welfare of the group, which does not deprive its members of the power to make essential managerial decisions.”

Trade associations are formed by businesses which are engaged in same or similar trade. They are organized on a non-profit basis. Trade associations are formed for the protection and promotion of business interests of its members.

The meetings of the trade associations generally discuss issues relating to the common interest of the members.

Issues may relate to:

  • Taxation (tax rates and taxation procedures)
  • Raw material prices or shortages,
  • Infrastructural issues (roads, power, telecom, ports etc.)
  • Labour issues and labour legislation
  • Legislation affecting the interests of the members
  • Unfair competition.
  • Import and export issues
  • Emerging opportunities in business, trade and commerce.

 Features of Trade associations

  1. Voluntary association: It is a voluntary association of member units. Members are free to exit at any time.
  2. Non-profit motive: Trade associations are non-profit earning associations. They are not promoted with a commercial motive.
  3. Name: The associations are generally named after the nature of the trade or industry conducted by its members.
  4. Identity: Members continue to retain their individual identity
  5. Independence: Members units can remain completely independent. There is no interference by the association on the business affairs of its members.
  6. Objective: The objective of trade associations is to promote the business interests of the members, exchange views, serve as a platform for discussions and to represent the interests of its members.

 Functions of Trade associations

The main functions of a trade association are:

  • Educating members to improve efficiency.
  • Preventing cut-throat or unfair competition.
  • Promoting and extending trade through ‘legislative work’.

The following are the other functions of trade associations:

  • To provide market information to members with regard to customer preferences, expectations, market opportunities etc.
  • Providing information relating to emerging business opportunities.
  • Rendering advice on technical matters and legal issues.
  • To secure co-operation and co-ordination among members.
  • To serve as a forum where members can settle their disputes.
  • Ensuring that members do not indulge in unfair trade practices.
  • Providing references with regard to the reputation and credit worthiness of members.
  • Undertaking advertisements to promote the industry.
  • To prescribe code of ethics with a view to promote ethical behaviour.
  • To represent members grievances to the government and seek redressal.
  • Conduct seminars or workshops on new legislation, the budget, international business developments etc.,
  • To conduct market research and provide information to member.
  • To send representatives to serve on various committees and boards set up by the government.

  Advantages of Trade associations/How they influence Government

The following are the advantages of trade associations:

  • It protects and promotes the interests of its members. It can take up issues relating to the respective authorities for redressal and corrective action. For e.g. it can take up issues such as: insufficient infrastructural facilities, high inputs costs, problem of cheap imports which affects the survival of local firms with the government and request it to take suitable remedial measures.
  • The association serves as a forum for members to interact with each other. Members can discuss key issues, share knowledge about industry trends, consumer preferences, best practices followed etc. This kind of knowledge sharing enables companies to implement appropriate measures and achieve efficiency and profitability.
  • Trade associations can undertake research and development to innovate new products, processes etc. Individual firms face resource constraints in undertaking research and any new innovation would benefit that individual firm. But the fruits of the research and development efforts of trade associations would benefit all the members.
  • Trade associations can engage market research agencies such as IMRB, ORG-MARG, etc. to conduct market research on consumer preferences and expectations. They can sponsor delegations of members to foreign countries to find out the market potential.
  • They play an important role in settling conflicts and disputes among members. They can use the services of members who enjoy a good reputation to settle disputes between members. This saves the members from expensive litigation which might also take up a lot of members’ time.
  • Trade associations prevent members from indulging in unfair trade practices. They ensure that members do not engage in cut-throat competition and promote the orderly development of the industry.

 Here is the link to all major business associations in India:

 Here is the link to various trade associations across India and major companies:

 Here are a few of very effective business associations, with their web links:

1Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

Business association with 6,000 member organisations from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs & MNCs; based in New Delhi (has 56 offices in India & eight overseas); web site has information on various industry sectors, events etc

Business Associations  

2Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM)

Apex industry body representing 38 leading vehicle & vehicular engine manufacturers in India; based in New Delhi; web site has industry statistics (turnover, production, market shares etc)

Business Associations  

3Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (Assocham)

Apex industry association based in New Delhi

Business Associations  

4National Association of Software & Service Companies (NASSCOM)

Apex organisation of the IT software & services industry in India; headquartered in New Delhi; has 1,050 members; web site has information on industry trends, fact sheets, groups & forums etc; sells research reports, directories, market intelligence

Business Associations   Software Firms  

5Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC)

Nodal agency sponsored by the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India to monitor garment export quotas, and to promote export of readymade garments; organises India International Garment Fair (IIGF) biannually, & buyer-seller meetings; based in Gurgaon

Business Associations   Garments  

6Association of Mutual Funds of India (AMFI)

Industry association of mutual funds operating in India; aim is to define and maintain high professional and ethical standards in the industry, represent to SEBI in all matters concerning the industry etc; based in Mumbai

Business Associations  

7Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

Largest & oldest apex organisation of Indian business, located in New Delhi; has nationwide membership of over 1,500 corporates & 500 chambers of commerce & business associations; suggests business solutions, & economic policies to Government

Business Associations  

8Life Insurance Council Tel: +91-22-2610-3303

S.V. Road, Santacruz West, Mumbai 400054, India    Map

Forum that connects various stakeholders of the life insurance sector; develops & coordinates all discussions between the government, regulator & the public; functions through several sub-committees & includes all life insurance companies in India

Business Associations  

9All India Biotech Association (AIBA)

Non-profit association that represents the interests of those in the biotechnology industry; covers pharmaceuticals, agriculture, hardware, industrial biotech products etc; based in New Delhi

Biotechnology   Business Associations  

10Tea Research Association (TRA) Tel: 0376-360467

Jorhat 785008, Assam, India    Map

Organization that runs Tocklai Experimental Station, the oldest & largest research station of its kind in the world, conducting research on all aspects of tea cultivation and processing; areas include botany, soil, agronomy, biochemistry etc

Research Institutes   Business Associations  

11FIMMDA Tel: +91-22-2201-7089

The International, Churchgate, Mumbai 400020    Map

Web site of The Fixed Income Money Market & Derivatives Association of India, an association of scheduled commercial banks, public financial institutions, primary dealers & insurance companies

Business Associations  

12Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) Tel: +91-11-4379-4488

Khelgaon Marg, Andrewsganj, New Delhi 110049, India    Map

India’s premium apex organization of television broadcasters; located in New Delhi; identifies and pursues growth opportunities for its members and ensures that the members present a strong collective voice regionally, nationally and globally

Business Associations  

13Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DICCI) Tel: +91-20-2605-8800

114 Parmar Chambers, Sadhu Vaswani Chowk, Pune 411001, India    Map

Social organisation founded in Pune, to instill the spirit of entrepreneurship among dalit youth and uplift businessmen from the deprived sections of society; offers technical, engineering, financial, labour, & tax management, & legal services

Business Associations  

14Indian Software Product Industry Roundtable (iSPIRT)

231-236, 2nd Floor, Raheja Arcade, Koramangala, Bangalore 560095, India    Map

Think tank aiming to transform India into a hub for new generation software products by addressing government policy, creating market catalysts & growing the maturity of product entrepreneurs; maintains ProductNation blog

Business Associations  

15The United Planters’ Association of Southern India (UPASI) Tel: 0423-223-0270

Glenview, Coonoor 643101, India    Map

Apex body of planters of tea, coffee, rubber, pepper, & cardamom in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, & Karnataka, in existence since 1893; has 3 state & 13 district planters’ associations affiliated to it; activities: economic research, market intelligence etc

Business Associations  

16Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI-CREDAI) Tel: +91-22-4212-1421

Maker Bhavan II, New Marine Lines, Mumbai 400020, India    Map

Association of real estate developers in Mumbai and MMR; Member of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI)

Business Associations  

17All India Glass Manufacturers’ Federation

Organisation that represents all segments of the glass industry consisting of large, medium and small-scale manufacturers in different parts of the country; based in Delhi

Business Associations  

18All India Organization of Chemists & Druggists (AIOCD)

Representative body of nearly 5.5 lakh members engaged in pharmaceuticals retail & wholesale trade, based in Mumbai; aims to protect the interest of its members and the general public, and ensure distribution of the best quality of medicines

Business Associations  

19Ambala Scientific Instruments Manufacturers Association (ASIMA)

Voluntary association formed to establish and promote “Made in Ambala”, a respected brand name in the national & international market through technological innovations, quality standards, business ethics & mutual trust; based in Ambala Cantt

Business Associations  

20Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI)

Representative industry body of Unified Access Service Licensees providing telecom services in the country with CDMA technology; based in New Delhi; site has information on the growth of CDMA subscribers, events etc

Business Associations  

21Builders Association of India (BAI) Tel: +91-22-2351-4134

G-1/G-20, Commerce Centre, Tardeo, Mumbai 400034, India    Map

All India association of engineering construction contractors; based in Mumbai, with 130 centres countrywide; safeguards the interests of the Indian construction industry

Business Associations  

22Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI)

Association of mobile phone services companies based in New Delhi; members include Aircel, BPL Cellular, Hutch Group, Idea, Reliance, Spice etc; web site has news, statistics, details of MSC codes etc

Business Associations  

23Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI)

National apex body of Indian fashion, based in Gurgaon, Haryana; aims to protect the interests of fashion designers & to foster the growth of the fashion industry; web site has information on members, including profiles, contacts etc

Business Associations   Fashion Designers  

24Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)

Apex body of Indian gem & jewellery industry, based in Mumbai; facilitates trade and export, offers training & research, and is the nodal agency for Kimberly Process Certification Scheme; has offices in Delhi, Jaipur, Chennai, Kolkata, & Surat

Business Associations  

25India Electronics & Semiconductor Association (ISA) Tel: +91-80-4147-3250

Prestige Terminus-II, 901 Civil Aviation Road, Bengaluru 560017, India    Map

Voluntary association formed to promote the interests of the Indian semiconductor industry; based in Bangalore; web site has a list of members with their web sites

Business Associations  

26Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association

Apex association representing the entire machine tool industry in India; members consist of both public & private sector manufacturers of metal-cutting & metal-forming machines, cutting tools, accessories & ancillary equipment

Business Associations  

27Indian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association

Apex association of VC funds in India, whose mission is to facilitate growth of venture capital and private equity in the country; based in New Delhi

Business Associations   Venture Capital  

28Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IJCCI)

Nodal organisation in Chennai for furthering the interests of academicians, artistes and business people in Japan and India; acts as industrial consultant, investment promoter & business facilitator, and organises business seminars & Japanese classes

Business Associations  

29Nano Science and Technology Consortium (NSTC)

Non-governmental, industry managed and promoted organization in Noida facilitating nano developmental processes; services: content management, market representation, research, resource database, event/product promotion services etc

Business Associations  

30Shipyards Association of India Tel: +91-11-2581-1228

Rajendra Place, New Delhi 110008, India    Map

Association of private sector shipyards engaged in the construction & repair of ships, floating craft and also those engaged in ship ancillary industries

Business Associations   Shipyards  

31Silk Mark Organisation of India Tel: +91-80-26282114

Madivala, Bangalore 560068, Karnataka, India    Map

Organisation sponsored by the Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India for generic promotion of pure silk with around ten centers; has introduced Silk Mark Scheme for the assurance of pure silk; headquartered at Bangalore

Business Associations  


Autonomous, non-profit export promotion body of Indian cotton textiles, based in Mumbai; activities include dissemination of information, fielding of trade enquiries, administering quotas, settling of disputes, collection of market information etc

Business Associations  

33The Group of Technopark Companies (GTECH) Tel: +91-471-2527270

Thiruvananthapuram 695581, Kerala, India    Map

Apex association of about 41 IT companies operating out of Technopark, an IT park in Trivandrum; aims to promote the cause of IT & ITES companies in Kerala, & develop a common outlook on policy matters

Business Associations  

34Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA)

Association of cotton knitwear exporters based in Tirupur; has interests in an inland container depot, a school, a college of fashion design, apparel park etc; site has information on suppliers of machinery, yarn & threads, fabrics manufacturers etc

Business Associations  

D. Trade Associations & Business Organisations India

List of trade organizations & business associations in India

  • Agarwoods Exporters Association
  • Ahmedabad Electrical Merchants & Contractors Association
  • Ahmedabad Tiles Mfrs Association
  • Ajmer Electric Association
  • All India Air Conditioning & Refrigerator Association
  • All India Brick & Tile Manufacturers Federation
  • All India Chain Association
  • All India Coated Steel Manufacturers Association
  • All India Electric Motor Manufacturers Association
  • All India Glass Manufacturers Federation
  • All India Importers Association
  • All India Instrument Manufacturers & Dealers Association
  • All India Iron & Steel Exporters Association
  • All India Manufacturers Organization
  • All India Metal Forging Association
  • All India Pottery Manufacturers Association
  • Association of Sanitary & Domestic Eng (I) Ltd.
  • Baroda Electrical Contractors & Merchants Association
  • Bengal Brickfield Owners Association
  • Bengal Glass Mfrs Association
  • Bhavanagar Electric Merchants Association
  • Bombay Bolts & Nuts Merchants’ Association
  • Bombay Canvets & Tarpaulin Merchants Association
  • Bombay Cutley, Toys, Glass, Beads & Sundry Merchants’Association
  • Bombay Ferrous & Non.Ferrous Manufacturers Association
  • Bombay Firewood & Timber Commision Agents Association
  • Bombay Hardware Merchants’ Association
  • Bombay Housing & Area Development Board Contractors Association
  • Bombay Marble & Tile Merchants’ Association
  • Bombay Pipes & Fittings Merchants Association
  • Bombay Sanitaryware Association
  • Bombay Society of Model Engineers
  • Bombay Tarpaulin Merchants’Association
  • Bombay Timber Merchants Association
  • B.P.T. Constractors Association
  • Builders Association of India
  • Bukdhana Dist Contractors Association
  • C.P. & Berar Electrical Contractors Association
  • Calcutta Cabinet Makers & Furnitures’ Association
  • Calcutta Electric Traders Association
  • Calcutta Goods Transport Association
  • Calcutta River Transport Association
  • Cast Iron Spun Pipe Mfrs Association
  • Cement Manufacturers Association
  • Cement Research Institute of India
  • Cement Tiles Manufacturers Association
  • Chandigarh Dealers & Contractors Association
  • Cochin Coir Merchants Association
  • Concrete Association of India
  • Deccan Manufacturers Association
  • Delhi Electric Merchants Association
  • Delhi Electric Traders Association
  • Earthmoving Equipment Parts Association of Eastern India.
  • East Indian Bolt & Nut Dealers Association
  • Eastern India Air Conditioning & Refrigerator Association
  • Eastern Regional Electrical Contractor’s Association (India) Ltd.
  • Electrical Cable Dev Association
  • Electrical Lamp and Component Manufacturers Association of India.
  • Electric Dealers Association
  • Electric Traders Association
  • Electrical Contractors & Merchants Association
  • Electrical Contractors Association
  • Electrical Contractors Association of Eastern India
  • Electrical Contractors Association of Maharashtra
  • Electrical Contractors, Merchant & Manufacturers Association
  • Electrical Dealers & Contractors Association
  • Electrical Merchants Association
  • Electrical Research & Development Association
  • Engineers Association of Northern India
  • Estate Agents Association of India
  • Federation of Indian Export Organisations
  • Federation of Indian Plywood & Panel Industry
  • Indian Hot Dip Galvanizers Association
  • Indian Institute of Landscape Architects
  • Indian Institute of Road Transport
  • Indian Lamp Factories Association
  • Indian National Group of the Institutional Association for Bridge & Structural Engg.
  • Indian Paint Association
  • Indian Pest Control Association
  • Indian Plywood Industries
  • Indian Pump Manufacturers Association
  • Indian Roads & Transport Dev Association (Northern Region)
  • Indian Rope Mfrs Association
  • Indian Society of Engineers
  • Indian Society of Lighting Engineers
  • Indian Water Works Association
  • Indian Wire Industrial Association
  • Indian Wire Ropes Mfrs Association
  • Indore Electric Merchants & Contractors Association
  • Institution of Public Health Engineers, India
  • Institute of Export Information
  • Institute of Town Planners India
  • Institution of Engineers (India) West Bengal State Centre
  • Institutional of Chartered Engineers
  • Jaipur Electric Association
  • Jamshedpur Electrical Contractors Association
  • Jodhpur Electric Association
  • Junagarh Electrical Merchants Association
  • Kanpur Constructors Association
  • Karnataka Metal Merchants & Manufacturers Association
  • Licensed Electrical Contractors of Mysore
  • M.P. Paints & Chemical Industries Association
  • Madras Electric Traders Association
  • Madras Electric Traders Association
  • Madurai Electrical & Machinery Dealers Association
  • Magnet Wires & Cables Manufacturers Association
  • Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce & Industries
  • Morbi Roofing Tiles Manufacturers Association
  • National Council for Cement & Building Materials
  • The Institution of Engineers (India)
  • Mysore Engineers Association
  • Orissa Glass Manufacturers Association
  • Overseas Construction Council of India
  • Plywood Manufacturers Association of India
  • Plywood Manufacturers Association of West Bengal
  • Precision Screw Manufacturers Association
  • Promoters & Builders Association of Poona
  • Institution of Milftery Engs
  • Institutional of Chartered Engineers
  • Jaipur Electric Association
  • Jamshedpur Electrical Contractors Association
  • Jodhpur Electric Association
  • Junagarh Electrical Merchants Association
  • Kanpur Constructors Association
  • Karnataka Metal Merchants & Manufacturers Association
  • Licensed Electrical Contractors of Mysore
  • M.P. Paints & Chemical Industries Association
  • Madras Electric Traders Association
  • Madurai Electrical & Machinery Dealers Association
  • Magnet Wires & Cables Manufacturers Association
  • Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce & Industries
  • Morbi Roofing Tiles Manufacturers Association
  • National Council for Cement & Building Materials
  • Orissa Glass Manufacturers Association
  • Overseas Construction Council of India
  • Plywood Manufacturers Association of India
  • Plywood Manufacturers Association of West Bengal
  • Precision Screw Manufacturers Association
  • Promoters & Builders Association of Poona
  • Town & Country Planning Organisations
  • U.P  Barbed Wire Manufacturers Association
  • U.P Concrete Pipe Manufacturers Association
  • U.P Electrical Contractors & Merchants Association
  • U.P Glass Manufacturers Syndicate
  • Vidarbha Electric Contractors Association
  • Vidarbha Industries Association
  • Vijaywada Electric Dealers Association
  • Wiring Contractors Association
  • Wood Furniture Makers Association
  1. Some Organisation websites :

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC)

National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSC)

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ACCII)

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)

All India Association of Industries (AIAI)

Indian Institute of Material Management (IIMM)

Federation of Indian Micro And Small and Medium Enterprises (FIMSME)

The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)

Electronic Component Industries Association (ECIA)

Chinese Mobile Phone Manufacturers, industry news

Mobile phone manufacturers (MPM)